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Harrison Barnes prefers to re-sign with Warriors during free agency

Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes announced his preference to stay with the Warriors despite entering as a restricted free agent going into the offseason. The Warriors’ number 7 overall pick in 2012 has had somewhat of a rocky road both on and off the court with the Dubs during this past season, starting when the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement about the small forward’s contract extension during last autumn.

However, when asked about his thought process going into this offseason’s free agency, Barnes explicitly told Sirius XM NBA Radio that his preference lays in Northern California. His response:

“The first this is I want to come back.”

The 6’8″ stretch forward has provided key baskets throughout his tenure with the Warriors so far, but a subpar Finals performance has left some fans questioning whether Golden State should pursue keeping him in Oakland.

Also, after the breakdown of contract extension negotiations last fall, some feel Barnes has been more concerned about getting a max contract rather than staying loyal to the Bay Area. Barnes will most likely draw a couple suitors willing to spend significant money, maybe even a max contract, during this lucrative offseason thanks to his success in the regular season.

All of this contract frenzy for the small forward comes directly in the midst of the Warriors’ plan to acquire superstar talent free agent Kevin Durant, who has been reported as taking the Dubs into serious consideration.

If the Warriors do land Kevin Durant, the cap space gymnastics that would have to ensue would likely eliminate the possibility of Harrison Barnes returning to the Warriors, despite his affinity with the Northern California franchise. Barnes would then most likely look towards getting a max contract else where, starting with the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers.

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